Is ‘Equal Pay For Equal Work’ Always Essential (even when differences are non-discriminatory)?

business_ethics_highlights_2Is it wrong to pay two people differently for the same work, even if neither is (or both are!) members of the same socio-cultural group? That is, is it wrong to pay two people of the same gender, or the same race, differently? To pay a man more than a similarly-qualified and similarly-productive woman would be prima facie discriminatory. But what if there are no gender (or race or sexual orientation, etc.) differences? Are differences in pay still wrong? That’s the question tackled in this paper by philosopher Jeffrey Moriarty.

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Is ‘Equal Pay For Equal Work’ Merely A Principle Of Nondiscrimination?, by Jeffrey Moriarty, in Economics and Philosophy

ABSTRACT: Should people who perform equal work receive equal pay? Most would say ‘yes’, at least insofar as this question is understood to be asking whether employers should be permitted to discriminate against employees on the basis of race or sex. But suppose the employees belong to all of the same traditionally protected groups. Is (what I call) nondiscriminatory unequal pay for equal work wrong? Drawing an analogy with price discrimination, I argue that it is not intrinsically wrong, but it can be deceptive, in which case it is wrong…..


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